Friday, 30 September 2016

Just for Giggles, and a Good Cause

I spent a Sunday volunteering at a local fundraiser. To say 'the day' is a bit of a stretch. But, I set my alarm for 6am on a Sunday so I'm rolling with it. My friend knew where we were going so I followed her like a lost puppy. Once in the storage room, it was actually more like huge garage, I saw two tables to my right with pink disposable table cloths. I entered the room. Adjusting to the lights, the back of the room was filled with canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards, all organized on wooden shelves. To the right, just as we entered were paddles, and life jackets of all shapes and sizes. Sign me up. Let me into the water. But, I had an assigned job.  Kind of. I was to help my friend set up the silent auction table. Turning my attention to the left, the one table was half filled with items. We were handed a pile of sheets with pictures and descriptions of a number of items, waiting for bids. At a quick glance at the pics and the items there was a problem. 
"I'm a bit confused. These don't match," I said, holding the papers out and pointing at the table.
"Some of these things are gifts." The coordinator began pushing items to the side. 'Gift prize... gift prize."
"Okay, so what about the rest of the stuff?"
"The auction items are coming," the organizer assured us.
She was super cool without a care in the world. For a woman running the entire event, not delegating anything to anyone, that amazed me. 
The auction wouldn't close until 3pm, so, I suppose there was time. I've been involved volunteering for more charity events than I care to admit. I could handle this. Kathy and I could handle this. "Okay. We will do what we can."
We were left to work. 
Slowly, every so slowly, more items slowly drifted in and we shifted things around. 
My work was more or less concluded within a few hours.  We weren't about to stay in the garage while the bulk of the activity took place near the water. 
One of the best part of the day were the costumes. We saw a lot of TuTus. On women, men and even the dogs. Yes, I did say dogs. Most of the critters wore life jackets. They all wore TuTus. 
I can't imagine trying to get my dog to wear that. I think she'd swear at me as I attempted to put it on her. She certainly doesn't think much of her winter coat. These dogs were troupers. 

The games were the most comical part of the day. Paddle board races. The ladies were 'nice and sportsmanlike' on the water as they paddled around a buoy and returned. The men on the other hand were more fun to watch. They were more competitive and more willing to tumble into the water. They attempted to jump onto each others boards. Have you ever tried to steady yourself, on long inflatable material, let along jump from one to another? They tip, and tip easily. It isn't a sport for those without balance, That was apparent as I watched them. The better the boarders were, the more willing they were to go in. And they tumbled and went in with a splash.
There were a lot of fit people that were huffing and puffing after the races.

Overall it was a great day. Kathy left with a new paddle, a silent auction item that we kept an eye on. Her hubby would be one happy man. The dark clouds blew over without releasing a drop of water on our area. We never heard a single crack of thunder. The dogs appreciated that. The charity raised 22K, so mission successful.
See you next year. 

One of the stand up paddle board instructors. His dog also works with The St. Johns Ambulance as a therapy dog. Dogs with jobs.

The Natasha Saga
Empowerment shatters traditions and lives. Greed and pride have devastating consequences. Sacrifices must be made. Written on multiple levels, the saga deals with hope, relationships, and giving, set against a background of conflicting values. 
Through a series of dreams, modern day couple Keeghan and William follow the triumphs and tragedies of multiple generations of the Donovan family. A chance encounter changes Natasha’s life, forever. In her diary, Natasha writes of her dream, and her hope to escape a horrid dictated future.
Will Natasha's legacy survive an uncertain future?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Country Life

I love living in the country. The sights the sounds and yes, most of the times the scents. Although I must admit there are those lovely spring days when the farms are spreading liquid manure, yup, the fancy name for liquid poop. Nope I don't think so much of those days. When I walk outside outdoors I could swear we've had a massive sewer backup. I step back into the house, take a deep breath of nice clean air and go outside again. Yup, the famers are busy. I can only pray mother nature is kind and supplies a bit of a breeze. Blow that stink away. 
Living in the country, I never question where Walt Disney got his inspiration. Nature does not live in harmony. Ever. Critters are bossy. Especially the females birds. Their colouring allows me to tell some of them apart, but not all. Our blue Jays have me baffled. 
The other day, a blue jay flew to our jelly filled oriole jelly feeder. Normally, he or she is a seed eater. I watched as he took a bite of the jelly, swallowed it and proceeded to try another. 

I could hear his voice in my head.
"Ugh, that is too sweet.  Why do Adam and George and Lila eat that stuff?
He flew away.
The conversation in my head continues when that lovely blue bird gets home. Sitting in the next with it's partner, the toots begin. 
"Where have you been and what have you been eating?" The blue jay mate takes it's wing and places it over it's beak. I suddenly sympathize with them. "I can't even send you outside. We live outside. Go.  Stay away until the rumbling in your stomach stops."
And the blue jay is all smiles as it flies off. It has an excuse to continue to gorge itself. 
See, critters are more human than we give them credit for. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Squirrels versus Humans

I love my critters. We keep 5 feeders on the go. Yes, that isn't a typo. Five. We have a feeder with a corn mix, sunflower seeds, nyjer, and suet. Then we have a larger feeder at the front of our property with more mixed corn and sunflower. During the summer we also put grape jelly out for the oriel and sweet water for the hummingbirds. The wild critters do not go hungry. The birds make a mess and the bunnies come around and dusk for cleanup duties. Life is good...
But there are days. Squirrels are pigs. Pigs, in that that eat, a lot. 
I was in the kitchen working on my computer as my husband sat in the next room playing on his. 
"The squirrel is back," he informed me.
He'd got up a couple times to tap on the window and 'encourage' the squirrel leave.
Glancing up, I can see the feeders from my chair. 
The lovely, chunky critter was on the sunflower feeder, filling his cheeks his bulging cheeks to capacity. I'm certain he has enough body fat the survive our winter, when it comes. Now, I admit, it takes a bit of work for the little darling to get to the feeders. He has to climb inside a Christmas tree hedge, get to the half way point and then jump to the feeder to avoid the cone shaped apparatus that we have designed to stop the four legged critters. Obviously our engineering wasn't overly successful. 
I rose from my chair, walk down the three steps to the sunken living room and head for the window. Using my fingers, I tap on the window. The little brat just stopped and looked at me. I could almost hear his little mind at work. 
"Agh, you're harmless."
He continued stuffing his wee face.
"Ugh," I groaned.
I opened the window and clapped my hand.
The little fellow changed his position, able to keep a better eye on me, but he had no intention of getting down. 

"Ba-ad squirrel," I lectured. "Ba-ad squirrel."
The dog looked up from her sleeping position on her doggy bed in the kitchen. Hubby chuckled at my pathetic attempt. 
"Ba-a-d squirrel," I continued, putting anger into my tone. "You are a ba-ad squirrel."
The little fellow looked at the scowl on my face, turned and jumped down. 
"It worked," I informed my husband with pride. I showed a very pleased with myself smile. "The dog doesn't think much of being called bad either."